So it’s that time of year when you feel all blah from the cold weather (hello crazy snowfall in Toronto last week), blah from not being able to take walks due to slippery sidewalks and giant slushy puddles, all the work you have to do for school (ok, well maybe it’s only me lol) and inspiration can seem to be lacking. Oh Joy!
So, I was pleasantly surprised to feel a spark of inspiration this past weekend as I perused some of the cookbooks displayed at Anthropologie. Among their drool worthy dishes and kitchen accessories I caught sight of a book called ‘The Little Paris Kitchen’. Although it was full of recipes that I wouldn’t necessarily make (but may re-make in future) the pictures in the book and the French aesthetic itself reminded me of France and Paris and why I deeply love the French.
I am a Francophile and while not an actual francophone I do speak French fluently (oui monsieur). I have been lucky to do 2 exchanges in France over the last few years which allowed me to see the culture up close and personal. I have even regularly visited Paris once a year for the last few years just because something is missing when I don’t. I will even be getting married there later this year…that’s how much I love and perhaps need French culture in my life. OK, I will stop my love letter to the French and get to the point. I love the French and that has a lot to do with how they live and eat.
While the French have a very distinct style and presence they more importantly have a very intimate relationship with food, something that I find lacking in general North American culture. We don’t go to markets, we go to giant supermarkets. We shop once a week instead of everyday or every few days. We order out instead of “making love in the kitchen” as some might say. We eat GMO’s and pesticide laden food instead of organic and local and the list goes on and on.
We wonder why we are so nutrient starved and yet we don’t put the effort into eating well because we are trying to get ahead in life. Well I’ve got news for you; you ain’t got nothing without your health! Rien! So when you’ve reached that point of success and your colon, heart and liver have given up and no longer want to support your lifestyle don’t be surprised, I warned you 😉
So without further adieu here are 5 tips to optimize your relationship with your food that I found while observing La vie quotidienne des Français (daily French life)!
1. Buy organic, local and fresh foods. This will give you the highest amount of nutrition for your dollars. Good quality ingredients make a dish that much more delicious. Organic food is free of pesticides, GMO’s and hormones. Read more here. There is at least one farmer’s market in Toronto per day. Check it out!
2. Create your own food at home. Make food with intention and love. This will help you to control what is in your food as opposed to being a science project for a restaurant. Make your own nut milks or sprouts.
3. Sit down at the table and eat with friends and family. Make eating an event that is nourishing physically, mentally and emotionally. In the summer sit outside and set the table; in the winter do the same sans the outside part of course. Christmas dinner should not be the only special occasion for eating at a table.
4. Have dessert. Do not deprive yourself of chocolate and whatever else you fancy. Instead indulge in the best organic dark chocolate you can find or make a special dessert once a week. You can even create amazing healthy raw desserts that taste sinful but are nutritious.
5. Take time to eat. Don’t rush. Taking time allows you to truly enjoy every morsel of food and prevents overeating. Food will also digest, absorb and assimilate better when we are relaxed. That means more nutrition flowing into our cells and better health.
I hope you can incorporate these 5 tips to make eating more enjoyable and healthy. Food is essential to health and to promote health we need to buy the best ingredients and ALSO eat in a way that allows our body to fully use the nutrition in the food. Nobody wants expensive merde so to speak 😉
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My mother-in-law would always talk of her years living in France and how different the style of eating was… not the food so much as the time you’d take to eat it when dining away. When we go to a restaurant here in the US, a little over an hour is all we really get to sit at a table and enjoy our meal before the server begins to get peeved. It would be unheard of to eat a 3 hour meal here! Especially eating 5-6 small courses in that meal…
I truly envy you – such a relaxing lifestyle you must’ve experienced there! No doubt you enjoyed your adventures – and best of all: enjoyed your food and the time to sit and just talk with your companion!
Great tips, by the way – thanks, Michelle!